Psicobloc climbers scale new heights at Utah Olympic Park
Published: August 5, 2013 12:05PM
Updated: August 2, 2013 10:51AM
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Chris Detrick | The Salt Lake Tribune Angie Payne, of Cincinnati, and Chris Sharma, of Santa Cruz, Calif, compete during the Psicobloc Masters Series semifinals at Utah Olympic Park Thursday August 1, 2013. Thirty athletes climbed a custom wall approaching 5.14 in difficulty, featuring a 26-foot roof, 52 feet above the freestyle aerial training pool. Psicobloc (aka Deep Water Soloing) is a form of solo climbing over a (deep) body of water. The finals will take place Aug. 2, starting at 7 p.m.

Capping off Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013, the Psicobloc Masters Series — the first deep water soloing competition ever held in the U.S. — will be held August 2, at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City.

Some of the world’s best climbers will be invited to compete head-to-head on a 50-foot wall using no ropes or harnesses, with only the Olympic Park’s 750,000-gallon freestyle aerial training pool to catch them below. The event will be open to the public and spectators will be treated to a ski jumping exhibition during the intermission periods.

“Psicobloc is an extreme and spectacular form of climbing that will undoubtedly blow everyone’s minds,” says Pro Climber and Event Organizer Chris Sharma. “For years we’ve talked about how this format will be the way of taking climbing to the mainstream. I’m really excited to be bringing this new and exciting form of climbing competition to the Olympic Park in Park City and am sure this will be an unforgettable experience for everyone who attends.”

The competition, which will feature a men’s and women’s division, will be “duel” style with competitors climbing on identical routes with the highest or first to the top advancing to the next round. The winners will take a share of $20,000 in prize money, the highest cash purse of any climbing competition this year.